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Shocking Survey Reveals Thai Elderly Rely on Daughters for Care: A Looming Crisis?

Family Care Expected by Majority of Thai Elderly

A recent survey conducted by the National Institute of Development Administration (Nida) revealed that most elderly individuals in Thailand expect to receive care from their families, particularly their daughters. The nationwide survey, carried out from March 14-17 among 1,310 respondents aged 60 and above, aimed to determine who should be responsible for elderly care in the country.

Findings from the Survey

According to the results, 53.1% of the participants anticipate family members providing care, while 41.9% prefer assistance from government organizations such as state-run facilities. Care from temples, foundations, associations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is expected by 3.6% of respondents, and 1.5% from private organizations.

Within the group preferring family care, 36% want support from their eldest or second eldest daughters, 23.9% from their eldest or second eldest sons, and 19.1% from all their children. In contrast, 84.8% of those seeking help from the public sector desire medical and treatment services, with 85.1% having already used such services and 56.9% satisfied with this provision.

Private Sector Expectations and Employment Initiatives

Concerning elderly care from the private sector, 65.7% expect medical and treatment services, though 62.5% have not yet received such assistance. To address the need for comprehensive senior care, Pairoj Chotikasathien, the director-general of the Department of Employment, introduced the Civil State Project for the Elderly. This initiative aims to provide employment opportunities for senior citizens, thereby improving their quality of life and promoting dignity.

So far, the project has facilitated employment for 813 older individuals through the Department of Employment’s job-finding service. Out of these, 702 have been hired by 1,057 employers for positions such as production line workers, housekeepers, security guards, drivers, and state organization workers. The department has also arranged an additional 694 job opportunities for seniors in various roles, including baristas, store managers, and government employees.

Thailand’s Ageing Population and the Super-Aged Society

Kasikorn Research Centre (KRC) recently updated its projection of Thailand’s ageing population, stating that the nation will become a “super-aged society” two years earlier than initially estimated. The change was attributed to a rapid decrease in the country’s population between 2020 and 2022, when the death rate exceeded the birth rate for the first time, partially due to the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact.

Thailand has experienced declining birth and fertility rates, and around one million individuals from Generation X (born between mid-1960s and early-1980s) are set to turn 60 this year, according to KRC. As the population ages, there will be an increased need for comprehensive and accessible elderly care throughout the country.

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